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This presentation to leaders of county associations emphasizes the power of basic brand principles for clear communication to multiple audiences. Government associations must communicate value.

This presentation to leaders of county associations emphasizes the power of basic brand principles for clear communication to multiple audiences. Government associations must communicate value.

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  • Creative Company BrandACT® 09


  • 1. National Associationof CountiesJuly 18, 2011Communicatemore effectively
  • 2. NACo | Why brand? Branding improves the impact of your communications
  • 3. We live in anoverwhelmed, time-starvedculture packedwith too many choices
  • 4. Glanceand scanSound bitesFirstimpressionsare the onlyimpressions
  • 5. What do they want from you?
  • 6. NACo | Why brand? What is a brand?
  • 7. NACo | What is a brand?What is a brand? • The name of a product or service • A warranty, trusted concept or essence • An expectation of a certain level of service • Confidence in knowing what to expect • Value in the mind of the audience
  • 8. The Starbucks brandA brand becomes more than a cup of coffee …“let’s get a Starbucks”It’s about the experience, the total of allelements
  • 9. The Appl ebr a ndA brand builds anemotional connection …people who share thestory … an expectationof a specific kind ofinteraction andexperience
  • 10. NACo | What is a brand?A brand is more than a logo • A brand requires a visual and verbal vocabulary • A distinctive “look and feel” • A common voice, tone and style • A system of colors and typography • A series of images, ideas and messages that build a cohesive whole
  • 11. NACo | What is a brand?What builds brands? • Brands are being built with or without management • Publicity build brands • Blogs, social media, marketing and websites build brands • Environments build brands • Each contact with the organization builds the brand
  • 12. NACo | Why brand?Why should youbuild a brand?
  • 13. Stand out …Be recognized … Add value …Save money
  • 14. NACo | Building a brand but we’re government …we’re not selling products or services
  • 15. Perception is reality • Your brand is based on what people think about your organization …it’s still • Communicate clearly from the audience’s point of view about people • Provide value to those you serve and communication
  • 16. NACo | AudiencesPerception is reality • Your brand is based on what people think about your organization • To be effective you must communicate from your audience’s point of view • You must create a brand that is visually appealing and communicates the essentials
  • 17. NACo | Building a brand 7 tactics to build your brand
  • 18. NACo | Building a brand 1. Know your audiences
  • 19. NACo | AudiencesDo you know your audiences? • Do you know everyone you need to communicate with? • Do you know what they expect from you? • Speak in the their language; be clear and concise (no acronyms!)
  • 20. NACo | AudiencesThink about why instead of what • Why do they need to connect with you? • What purpose do you serve? • Avoid just listing the “stuff” you do • Consider their perspectives – businesses or individuals, families or retirees
  • 21. NACo | AudiencesWho do you need to reach? • See them as people, lifestyles, individuals • How do they take in information? • What do they respond to, or not? • What is their age and generation affiliation?
  • 22. NACo | Building a brand each generation is different
  • 23. NACo | GenerationsThe Silent Generation – 1925 to 1945• 2005 Census – 63 million, now aged 65 to 85• Have always done “the right thing”• Conservative, expect respect• Reliable and show up for work on time• Second middle age …“now or never”• 45% of age 70 to 74 use the internet• 56% of age 65 to 69 use the internet
  • 24. NACo | GenerationsThe Boomers – 1946 to 1964• 2005 Census – 78 million, now aged 46 to 64• The “Me Generation”• Boomers are driving the marketplace• Control 70% of the nations wealth• Want to stay healthy, keep youthful appearance• In the midst of intense transitions• Address lifestyle preferences and life stages• Online and connected
  • 25. NACo | GenerationsGen X – 1965 to 1977• 2005 census – 48 million, now aged 33 to 45• First generation of latch-key children, learned to rely on themselves• More results-oriented, less process-oriented• Will change jobs more frequently• Savvy and cynical consumers• No brand loyalty, earn confidence every time• Want direct communication
  • 26. NACo | GenerationsGen Y – Born 1978 to 2000• 2005 Census – 76 million, now aged 10 to 32• Have honed a “sixth sense” in seeking what’s authentic, don’t want to be “sold”• “One of smartest, tech savvy and idealistic generations of our time”• Girls grew up participating in sports, more self-assurance• Multi-tasking is natural• 93% of 12 to 17 use the web, 89% of 18 to 24
  • 27. NACo | Building a brand 2. Communicate your value
  • 28. NACo | Building a brandnot just whatyou do or how you do it
  • 29. NACo | AudiencesWhat is needed and wanted byyour audience(s)? • What’s the primary reason each audience wants/needs/uses your products or services? • What do you provide immediately, and over the long-term?
  • 30. NACo | Define the messageWhat value do you provide? • Go beyond the “stuff” • Identify ideas, messages that address “why should I care?” or • “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) • Where’s the “wow!”?
  • 31. t ’s y ourWhamess age?(WII FM )
  • 32. NACo | Building a brand 3. Create a visual vocabulary
  • 33. NACo | Building your brandA visual vocabulary connects • Choose a strong color palette, not too limiting • Select typefaces that are distinctive and use them consistently • Identify the “look and feel” that will stand out and create recognition • Be memorable
  • 34. NACo | Building your brandConsistency and focus • Focus on your audiences and the benefits (message) • Consistency of visual elements • Recognition at a glance is the goal
  • 35. Western Oregon Waste| Identity and Fleet Graphics
  • 36. NYSAC | Identity Guidelines
  • 37. NYSAC | Identity Guidelines
  • 38. NACo | Visual VocabularyYou will see all the messages andtools, your audience won’t • Consistency creates a connection • Visually connect all elements, from website to mailings to office environment to stationery to displays, Emails and brochures…
  • 39. NACo | Building a brand Most people scan instead of reading
  • 40. NACo | Create clarityFormats enhance legibility• Organize the visual elements• Highlight key points• Shorter line length is easier to read• Bullet points and subheads to break up copy• People read headlines, subheads and captions first
  • 41. NACo | Building a brand 4. Brand each contact point
  • 42. NACo | Contact pointsWhere are the contact points? • Where do your audiences connect with you? • At what level, for what purpose? • How are those contact points branded? • Which contacts are critical to the organization, the points of choice?
  • 43. NACo | Building a brand What are the essential points of choice?
  • 44. NACo| Point of choiceWhat is a “point of choice”? A point of choice is the situation where someone will take action, to move to the next step in working with you. The point of choice is focused on immediate response—taking action.
  • 45. NACo | Contact pointsSmall contacts influence perceptions• Reception, how the phone is answered• Personal presentation• Voice mail message• Letter format• Fax cover sheet• Quality of literature• Environment
  • 46. NYSAC | Email system
  • 47. NACo | Contact pointsDon’t get lost in the clutter“It is critical for me that we are always putting our best face forward. Our message hasn’t changed, but it is more valuable because it no longer gets lost in the clutter.” Mark F. LaVigne, Deputy Director of NYSAC
  • 48. NACo | Building a brand 5. Simplify content and message
  • 49. NACo | Simplify and be directBenefits, not “stuff” • Highlight important ideas • Be clear and direct, simple language • Your audience recognizes your persona through: • Colors and images • Language and tone • Key ideas highlighted
  • 50. NYSAC | Literature format
  • 51. NACo | Brand valueImage adds value“In the world of membership associations, image matters both internally and externally. Members want to be able to take pride in their organization. An organization’s credibility begins with howit is perceived.” Mike W. McArthur, Executive Director,Association of Oregon Counties
  • 52. NACo | ImageWhat image is right for youraudience? • Is your image what your audience wants, expects, will respond to? • What’s the “playing field”? What’s expected? • How can you go beyond the expected to generate recognition and loyalty?
  • 53. Canby Telcom| Identity and Fleet Graphics
  • 54. NACo | Building a brand 6. Provide tools for adoption
  • 55. NACo | ImageGuidelines and templates • Ensure guidelines and templates are available to support consistency • Implement training to support value and create brand champions • Make it easy for staff to build the brand
  • 56. AOC | Brand training
  • 57. NACo | Building a brand 7. Include the call to action
  • 58. NACo | Build your brandHelp people respond• What’s the next step?• Link to online resources• Provide specific actions, don’t make people think• Create a continuum
  • 59. NYSAC | Email headers
  • 60. NYSAC | Email headers
  • 61. NACo | Brand valueFinished and professional“ … having all forms of communication reflect the NYSAC brand consistently has immeasurable and noticeable value. … Our new forms enable us to project a more finished and professional image.”Stephen Acquario, Executive Director, New York StateAssociation of Counties
  • 62. NACo | Build your brandBuilding your brand• Creates clarity with internal and external audiences• Generates increased recognition at a lower cost• Establishes a stronger presence and more effective communications
  • 63. NACo | Build your brandWhen you create a brand, you’re …• Providing what your audience needs to respond• Inspiring action at each point of contact• Building your perceived value
  • 64. Go forth and brand responsibly!(or call Creative Company to help)
  • 65. Questions? Jennifer Larsen Morrow President Creative Company